Last year I wrote a post about goal setting and how to make sure that your new years resolutions don't fail, or at least, how to make it more likely that you'll succeed. Although my goals were okay, they still didn't last, and I've worked out the bugs. How can I be confident that this isn't just new year's hype? Well, there's a reason I waited until the end of January to write this post. I've been testing out my new method, and I'm happy to say, it works!
Here's the problem with my goals last year, they weren't specific enough, small enough, or simple enough. This year, my goal approach is about starting simple and small, and then scaling up to the level I want to achieve. Also, all of my goals are trackable. The theory behind these points is simple. If you shoot for too big of a goal, you're likely to get frustrated before you achieve it and quit. If the goals are too complicated, then you're likely trying to achieve several goals at once. If you can't track your goal, then how do you know you've achieved it?
What have I achieved in the month of January? I have started waking up early every day, and I also now write every day. For the past several years, I've wondered about waking up early (all the successful people allegedly do it) and I've also been trying to get myself into a good writing routine. I have now woken up before 7:30AM, often at or before 6:00AM for over 26 days, and with the exception of 1 or 2 missed days, I've been writing consistently for almost 20 days.
Why could I do it this month when I've failed in the past? I only focused on these two goals all month. They are things I can easily track (I use lift.do for that) and I didn't overwhelm myself with several goals or overly complicated, large goals (such as write a novel or get good grades).
So, here is what you can do if you'd like to follow the method I'm using. Break down your goals so that they are small, simple, and trackable. Then, assign each month of the year 1 or 2 habits that you want to work on. Keep track of them, and maintain them for the whole month before you load on any more goals.
For February, I am going to continue my waking early and writing habits, and I will be adding in meditating every day and not eating after 7:00PM.
If you decide to pick a few goals to work on, let me know what they are in the comments. Sharing goals publicly has been proven to help you achieve them.